Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas hailed his team as “fantastic” after they regained second place in the Premier League with a 3-1 win over champions Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Monday.
Victory saw Arsenal move to within two points of leaders Manchester United and go second on goal difference above Manchester City.
But Chelsea’s fifth league defeat of the season left the fourth-placed Blues six points adrift of United, having played one game more.
Fabregas, who scored Arsenal’s second goal in between strikes from Alex Song and Theo Walcott, was in no doubt as to how the Gunners had won for the first time in 12 games against Chelsea and United.
“Belief was the difference,” Fabregas told Sky Sports 1.
“The difference between a good team and a great team is very little. We did what a great team does. We were fantastic.
“The league is so tight.
“Anyone can win it. We will try to do our best.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose side last won a major trophy in 2005, insisted: “We have matured. We have been disciplined, mature and played for each other.
“Let’s hope that it strengthens our belief that we can challenge for the championship and it strengthens our belief we’re on the right way,” the Frenchman added.
Song gave Arsenal the lead shortly before halftime. The hosts then scored two goals in three minutes early in the second period from Fabregas and Walcott, who created chances for one another, after Chelsea were twice caught in possession.
However, Branislav Ivanovic pulled one back for Chelsea when he headed in Didier Drogba’s free-kick in the 57th minute.
“We didn’t think about the past,” said Walcott after helping Arsenal end a run of five straight defeats by Chelsea.
“Everything went well. We made Chelsea look average at times,” the England winger added.
Chelsea’s loss added to the pressure on Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti, whose side are being pushed hard for a top four finish and a Champions League place by both Tottenham and Bolton.
Ancelotti urged Chelsea to “wake up” after a sixth game without a win but added he was “confident” about his own future.
“The difference was the quality,” Ancelotti said.
“Arsenal put more quality on the pitch than us. They were able to play with the football. They played better than us.
“We didn’t play well. We’re in a difficult moment. We need to try and win the game against Bolton (on Wednesday).
“The table is not good but this is the reality. We have to wake up. Now we are sleeping.”
Ancelotti, asked if he was worried this loss would lead to the sack from Chelsea’s billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich, added: “This is a question you have to ask the owner. I’m confident.”